Monday, March 7, 2016

Tears as minister, Ocholi, wife, son die in auto crash

The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN); his wife, Blessing; and son, Joshua, on Sunday died in a road crash along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, 57 kilometres to their Kaduna destination.
Tears as minister, Ocholi, wife, son die in auto crash
The SUV after the crash on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway ...on Sunday. (inset:)Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN).

It was learnt that the Sport Utility Vehicle in which the family travelled in, had a burst tyre on the highway, leading to the crash.

Ocholi, who hailed from Ogbabede-Abocho in the Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, and his third child were said to have died on the spot after the Prado-Jeep had a burst tyre in the rear and somersaulted several times.

It was gathered that the minister’s SUV ran into other vehicles in his convoy.

A critically injured Blessing died at the Doka Government Hospital, Kaduna, around 4pm on Sunday.

The driver and aide de camp, who were also rushed to the clinic, were later brought to the National Hospital, Abuja at 7.45pm for treatment.

The Kaduna State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Francis Udoma, said the accident occurred about 57 kilometres away from Kaduna.

Udoma confirmed that the minister and the son died on the spot, adding that some aides to the late minister also sustained injuries.

The news of the minister’s death was first broken by his counterpart for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

He said on his twitter handle, “It is too heavy for me to bear the loss of my dear friend, Minister of State, James Ocholi, SAN. We departed on Friday to meet no more.”

The Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, also confirmed the sad incident.

He said, “There was a road traffic crash along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway involving an SUV which somersaulted after one of its tyres burst. Sadly, the Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, lost his life in the crash.”

Tears flowed uncontrollably among friends, lawyers, chieftains of the All Progressives Congress and relatives as the corpses of Ocholi, Blessing and Joshua were brought to the National Hospital, Abuja, by officials of the FRSC.

That of his wife was brought in about one hour, thirty minutes later.

Senior government officials, who were on the ground at the Hospital when the vehicles arrived, were seen discussing the incident in hushed tones.

Two FRSC vehicles, an ambulance with number plate A01 0637RS, and an escort pick-up van, marked A01 736RS, brought the corpses to the hospital.

Scores of sympathisers wailed uncontrollably as the bodies of the deceased were being removed from the ambulance.

He was appointed a minister in September, 2015.

Culled from
Photo Credit: Olatunji Obasa and Godwin Isenyo

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